Building Christ-like Teams at Church

LeadersDoing church is all about committee work, you know. It’s other stuff, too, of course, but there’s no escaping the committees. We call them “teams” at my church–it’s just so very modern to do so–but they’re still committees.

Elderships are always committees. Now there’s more to being an elder than being on a committee (or team!), but elders act as a group on most matters, and this inevitably means sitting in a meeting and hashing things out until a decision is made. Continue reading

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How to Argue Like a Christian, Part 3

Divided churchWhen we get mad at another church and want to rebuke their sin, we feel that we may stand in the sandals of the Son of God and condemn these sinners in the harshest of tones, just as Jesus condemned the Pharisees. After all, we are supposed to follow Jesus’ example, and Jesus was capable of some very harsh language.

Just so, in Galatians 2, Paul tells how he rebuked Peter to his face. Galatians has been read by hundreds of millions, so Paul evidently felt justified making his criticisms very public indeed. May we do the same? I think not, but it’s a question of some subtlety. Consider the following: Continue reading

How to Argue Like a Christian, Part 2

Divided church[Part 1 is at Part 1] I recently received an email from a preacher of a 90-member church in Middle America, vigorously denouncing another, larger church in his town for charging admission to a woman’s conference. He pointed out that the Bible disapproves of charging to hear the gospel.

I felt compelled to respond, although all this was taking place several states away. You see, I think he’s right. Now, his methods are utterly wrong, Continue reading

Christian Chronicle Rural Revival

RemmelA wonderful story just released by the Christian Chronicle on a church that has grown from 30 to 170 by being Jesus to the world.

The common tie: a love of God and a belief that helping hurting people leads them to Christ.

“Remmel lifts up Christ,” Walton said. “People see Christ in the Remmel church, and they are drawn to him.”

“My Secret Life of Discipleship”

Brian MashburnHere’s a link to a beautifully written posting on Brian Mashburn’s blog that reveals the heart of many of our members. My Secret Life of Discipleship Highly recommended.

The moderate church, Part 3

Divided churchThis brings us to teaching. Moderate churches generally have a very weak educational program, because the doctrines that divide the church are off limits. Either one side dominates the classes and the other side doesn’t listen, or else the tough topics are just never talked about in a serious way. Or else there’s one class that teaches one doctrine and another class that teaches another–but no one is ever required to question his pre-existing beliefs.

After all, serious consideration of the doctrines that divide the members would seem, well, divisive. It just seems so prudent to avoid such issues and talk about what the church agrees on. But avoiding the conflict is the surest road to division. Continue reading

The moderate church, Part 2

Divided churchIn Part 1, we considered the difficulties of managing a moderate church, that is, a church that is divided between progressives and conservatives. While it’s not inevitable that such churches divide, they often do. The reason is almost always a failure of the leadership to confront the problem. Rather, most churches decide to delay the day of reckoning, piling political compromise on top of political compromise, until one day the church collapses. Continue reading